Not long ago, men's designer Erïk Bjerkesjö decamped from Sweden to Florence and its promise of Tuscan perfection. He promptly enrolled in the prestigious Polimoda school, where he took an advanced footwear course with instructor Patrick de Muynck and director Linda Loppa, a fashion legend in her native Antwerp.
They clearly teached their young pupil well because Bjerkesjö's shoes, like most of the finer things in life, are made to look simpler than they really are. In an homage to the Vienna Heel, the most dignified of historical men's shoes, each of Bjerkesjö's leather derbies is crafted with 18 eighteen-carat gold pins inside, while etched on the upper is the archival emblem of Tuscany.
The shoe line has recently expanded to include men's clothing, but Bjerkesjö, a believer in a "post-modern synthesis," has made sure his Nordic aesthetic exudes from every stitch. That he's never without his handmade replica of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic glasses pretty much says it all.